The Oscars: If only costume design was a Winter Olympics sport

BhzGmFGCEAAOkXt.jpg-largeIt was a night where Australia stood proud, scooping Oscars in three categories and all but finishing South Africa in the Third Test at Newlands. We’ll save the cricket for another day, maybe tomorrow at the rate we bowled over the Proteas, and focus on Hollywood’s big night.

And so to Aussie film glory. Catherine Martin became our most decorated movie maker, carting off matching gold hand weights to take her career haul to four. If only costume design was a Winter Olympics sport. Our Cate finally got her hands on the Best Actress gong. And rocked the speech. Rounding out the winning contingent from Down Under was Beverley Dunn, who shared the Production Design spoils with the aforementioned Catherine Martin.

But as important as these awards are, especially when we win them, we all know the Oscars are really about the fashions and the faux pas. So let’s get down to business.

If there was one person that probably wished they’d stayed home, it’d be Liza Minnelli. Poor old Liza couldn’t take a trick. First she wore a electric blue satin pant suit. Bup-bow. Then she was outed by Ellen as a male impersonator of herself. And then she was caught trying to muscle her way into Ellen’s group selfie that set a new record of 2.5 million retweets and crashed Twitter.

Now, because I’m not Woman’s Day or NW, I can’t show you pictures of the Oscar frocks. So, I’m going to send you to this link at the Daily Mail for a squiz, then you can come back and we’ll have a chat. See you in a minute. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

OK, so here are my best dressed. For me it’s a draw between two very different looks. Charlize Theron pulled off the unprecedented, making a fishtail frock look sexy, while our Cate was so floaty and ethereal, I think I dreamt her.

This is the kind of clobber Gaga usually gets around in. Picture by Eva Rinaldi
This is the kind of clobber Gaga usually gets around in.
Picture by Eva Rinaldi

There were a number of highly commendeds. The understated glamour of Meryl Streep said in no uncertain terms: “I know I’m not going to win tonight, I’m just here for the canapés.” In a shock development, Lady Gaga wore clothes. And actually scrubbed up quite well from the neck down. Upstairs she was King Louis. Not so great.

In the contest for best looking couple, Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres won hands down, though Portia’s hair was reminiscent of Nicky Buckley from her Sale of the Century days. There was something frightful going on with the women’s hair generally but we’ll come back to that. I think Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey, resplendent in white tuxedos, had come straight from a wedding. Or from church at any rate, judging from the evangelistic fervour of Matthew’s acceptance speech.

For the not so honourable mentions, let’s start with Sally Field, just for showing up. Same for Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Doesn’t matter what they wear, usually each other, I can’t stand them. Or their kids.

Anne Hathaway charged in like a knight from Camelot in a chainlink halterneck. Pharrell Williams wore school shorts a la Angus Young. Penelope Cruz stripped her bed, wore one sheet herself and gave the other to Matthew McConaughey’s missus, Camila Alves. And everyone in the auditorium made a mental note not to go anywhere near Kim Novak’s plastic surgeon. The poor woman’s face was pulled so tight, she couldn’t get a word out.

Every year, there’s one dress better designed to sit on the spare toilet roll in the bathroom. This year it was Jennifer Garner’s. Angelina Jolie was oddly frumpy as she tried desperately not to deflect attention from Oscar winning producer boyfriend Brad Pitt. Kate Hudson looked like a white bat. And will Bono ever ditch the sunnies?

Julia Roberts was a modern day Morticia Adams, while Jennifer Lawrence wore Hillary Clinton’s hair. A quick note to both women: peplum’s over, girls. After tripping over another woman’s dress on the red carpet, JLaw’s been banned from attending another Oscars until she’s mastered the art of walking. As Ellen said: “If you win tonight, I think we should bring you the Oscar.”

"Ellen DeGeneres, you're fired." Picture by Gage Skidmore
“Ellen DeGeneres, you’re fired.”
Picture by Gage Skidmore

I’m not sure what’s been going on with Oscars hair lately. Last year, you may remember the abundance of man hair. This year, the ladies went all pear-shaped in the tresses department, with hair scraped back in some unspoken homage to Gordon Gekko. Naomi Watts was one of the worst offenders. In the middle of it all, the man with the most ridiculous hair on the planet, Donald Trump, was threatening an Oscars takeover, tweeting: “I should host the #Oscars just to shake things up – this is not good!” Stick to failed Presidential runs, Donster.

It was a fun night, thanks largely to the lounge room feel Ellen created with the selfies and home-delivered pizza. By the end of the evening, I was a little more in love with Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o for their lovely speeches, Lupita crying “This has been the joy of my life” and Jared gently reminding everyone that Hollywood was not the epicentre of the universe. He has lovely eyes.

Finally, two of the great moments of the night involved U2. A special achievement award to Benedict Cumberbatch for photobombing the super group. Then there was the cheesy sing-song speech of the husband and wife team who pipped them in the Best Song category with Frozen’s Let It Go. “To our fellow nominees,” they said, “you are all rock stars. Literally.” So cute. It almost made up for the song they wrote. Almost.

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